The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162418   Message #3865534
Posted By: Jim Carroll
11-Jul-17 - 03:56 AM
"my favourite pub, alas a pub no more, was a habitat of the Krays too"
I assume you are referring to 'The Blind Beggar' on Whitechapel Road - we recorded many Travellers on a piece of waste ground on a road running parallel to the main road and drank with them a few doors down from 'The Beggar' (which shares its name with one of the oldest songs still in currency among Irish Travellers in the 70s - we used the 'Blind man and dog' woodcut to illustrate our first album of Traveller songs, 'Early in the Month of Spring')
The East End of London had a proud record of anti-fascist activity in the Thirties - we used to go to an Irish music session in a pub named (ironically) The Britannia, opposite Cable Street - that street proudly boasts a blue plaque commemorating THE BATTLE of CABLE STREET when ordinary British people, dockers, costermongers, shopworkers...... ordinary British people, political and non-political, took to the streets in their thousands to oppose marching fascists and baton-wielding mounted police protecting them.
That's the militant Britain I am proud to be part of and remember - not the nodding dog ceremonies commemorating the leaders who sat back in the comfort and safety of their bases, fighting among themselves and sending the wrong shells and information to the front, condemning an entire generation of young men to their deaths in the mud of Europe.
My first landlord in London, a doctor named Hugh Faulkner, a man you would never fail to recognise as being Jewish, quietly volunteered to infiltrate The Blackshirts and attend their meetings in order to report where their marches were to take place in advance so they could be opposed
When the trolls and goose-steppers on this forum accuse me of being a "Jew hater" and an "Anglophobe" I remember that their England isn't mine and their Jews are not my Jews.
My Jews are Hugh Faulkner and the Les Parrington (who fled South African Apartheid Regime in order to escape an arrest warrant for opposing that regime) - or all the holocaust survivors I met in Manchester - their Jews are the regime that drugged and kidnapped my personal hero, Mordechai Vanunu and imprisoned him for seventeen years, eleven of those in solitary confinement, for telling the world what it desperately needed to know.
My England is that of the dock workers I befriended when I was an apprentice - those who worked in foul, health-destroying conditions and fought to change those conditions, turning being a docker from the old "pen system" where workers were selected on a daily basis like animals being picked for slaughter, to a dignified and respected occupation where they went home with a living wage at the end of the week (until the docks were finally closed as wealth producers for Britain and sources of employment for Liverpool people, and eventually turned into museums and homes for the wealth by Thatcher and her predecessors)
Now I'm getting on in years, hardly a week goes past when I don't think with pride of the sacrifice made by my old man and his mates to try and stop fascism getting a hold in the world
You may stick your accusations of "Jew hater" and "Anglophobe" up until it knocks your hat off - they remind me of the different values held in the two Britains that have been created so that those who already more than enough have, can accumulate even more
Have a good day y'all - off to Galway to see the new Joe Heaney film
Jim Carroll